Happy Monday Savvy Readers! Whether you’re working from home or you’re on the frontlines and heading into work, chances are you have more time to read in this era of social distancing, and this week’s featured read is one book you’re going to want to take some time for! That’s right, you guessed it! This week’s My Book Pledge featured read is none other than Hilary Mantel‘s The Mirror & the Light!
The third and final installment in Mantel’s acclaimed trilogy that she began with Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, in The Mirror & the Light, Mantel traces the final years of Thomas Cromwell’s life.
Our story begins in England, May 1536. Anne Boleyn is dead, decapitated in the space of a heartbeat by a hired French executioner. As her remains are bundled into oblivion, Thomas Cromwell breakfasts with the victors. The blacksmith’s son from Putney emerges from the spring’s bloodbath to continue his climb to power and wealth, while his formidable master, Henry VIII, settles to short-lived happiness with his third queen before Jane dies giving birth to the male heir he most craves.
Cromwell is a man with only his wits to rely on; he has no great family to back him, no private army. Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry’s regime to breaking point, Cromwell’s robust imagination sees a new country in the mirror of the future.
But can a nation, or a person, shed the past like a skin? Do the dead continually unbury themselves? What will you do, the Spanish ambassador asks Cromwell, when the king turns on you, as sooner or later he turns on everyone close to him?
Offering a defining portrait of predator and prey, a ferocious contest between present and past, royal and common man, the triumphant close to Mantel’s trilogy sees the making of a modern nation through conflict, passion, and courage. So whether you’re a British history buff like me or you just love cold-blooded conflict with a dramatic flair don’t forget to add The Mirror & the Light to your My Book Pledge shelf!